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Read supplemental essays associated with these topics:









While topical essays comprise the narrative history of Rochester’s central labor bodies, to convey some of the excitement and detail of our material we have supplemented our narrative with vignettes related to each essay.

The Education essay is supplemented with lists of the Labor Day Parade formations of 1917 and 2005, the story of the Ronald G. Pettengill Labor Education Fund, and a sample of the photo/text exhibit, Rochester: A Community of Workers.

The Politics essay on efforts to advance workers’ interests through electoral work and legislative initiatives includes both vignettes on the AFL’s Non-Partisan political education program and labor’s sustained opposition to the Taft-Hartley “slave labor” law.

The Media essay on the role of Rochester’s labor papers is supplemented with a vignette on long-time Labor News editor Alex Gaby.

The Community essay on labor’s role in civic issues is supplemented by stories on development of the Sidney Hillman Health Center and the struggle to direct labor’s charity through a United Labor Chest.

The Solidarity essay on support for the union label, boycotts, strike support, etc. is supplemented with the story Labor’s Reward, the AFL’s 1925 union label propaganda film, and the story of the fight by labor and local merchants against giant chain stores during the Depression.

The Organizing essay on strategies and campaigns to bring workers into unions is augmented by the story of Rochester’s general strike of 1946, waged to defend the right to organize.

The essay on Structure — how Rochester’s central labor bodies functioned— is supplemented by stories about the effort (1909-1932) to build a Labor Temple; the bitter ideological struggle (1949-1950) over requiring a loyalty oath from delegates; and the story of the split between Rochester’s AFL and CIO unions and their eventual merger (1935-1959).